Psallam Spiritu et Mente

Cathedral Residency

Music Celebrations International is proud to present its British Cathedral Residency Program

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Cathedral Choir Residency, you’re not alone. These programs give choirs the opportunity to sing services in one of these glorious buildings and experience the depth and breadth of the English Choral Tradition.

Learn more about Cathedral Residencies

A Choir Residency is a period of time (usually one week, but could be less) when a visiting choir takes over for the regular choir at a Cathedral.

Where are Cathedral Residencies Offered?

Some of the more popular Residency Sites include Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster, Gloucester Cathedral, and many more throughout Britain.

Contact Us to Learn More!

Please feel free to contact our Cathedral Residency experts at Music Celebrations International and Faith Journeys to answer any questions you have.

About Our Team

Our team of experienced tour consultants includes a cathedral Residency Specialist to help guide you through your planning and traveling experience. We also maintain many close relationships with church music directors, clergy, and diocesan staff members from across the country who have worked with us and who are great resources for developing and maintaining a culture of collegiality to complement your touring and residency offerings.

Our Residency Specialist, Darren Herring (also the National Director of Sales for our sister company, Faith Journeys), has worked within the Episcopal Church for decades, in both parish and cathedral settings. He has led and worked in music programs and Christian education (J2A, RSCM and summer camp programs) and is a specialist in pilgrimage to the United Kingdom. Darren has a local and collegial knowledge of the UK, having both extensive travel experience and working in the music departments of several British Cathedrals. He is certified in Safeguarding God’s People and Children, and serves currently as the Music Program Coordinator at Saint Anthony Episcopal Church, in Scottsdale, AZ. He is a published composer, have pieces available with Paraclete Publications, GIA, and Hal Leonard, and an expert on Anglican repertoire.

Darren Herring at Southwark Cathedral

Many thanks for your hard work on our behalf. We had a wonderful time in England singing at Exeter and Wells. The Choir Residency at Exeter Cathedral was an incredible experience.
John Balme, Director
Concordia Youth Chorale

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to sing every night?

If a service is listed, yes. Although, choirs can change around personnel to give some singers a night off. Ex. A mixed voice choir could sing one service with men’s voices one night and trebles the next.

Do we need to supply our own Organist?

Yes. In almost every case this is true. The organist must be able to play all services at a very high level of competency. It is possible to engage a local organist for a fee.

Do we need to supply our own Cantor?

This is handled differently by each Cathedral, but to be safe…Yes. Have someone prepared to be Cantor.

Is housing available at the Cathedral/Choir School?

Most Cathedrals no longer have private schools, however, there is inexpensive housing at local boarding schools and universities.

Can other concert/service opportunities be arranged while we're in residency?

Yes. Definitely. There are noon-time concerts as well as other services and venues available.

What is the maximum size of a choir a Cathedral will accept?

Cathedrals within the United Kingdom can normally accommodate groups of up to 35 singers, although some have space for many more and some for fewer. We will assist you in selecting a location that will work best for your choir.

What if we don't want to sing so many services?

Shorter residencies are available at some Cathedrals and some have weekend only residencies for choirs that only want to sing a few services.

Do we get any special perks from the Cathedral?

Yes. There are several perks that vary from Cathedral to Cathedral. Usually, your choir will get a special guided tour of the building and grounds. Some offer a special tea one day, as a thank you. You also have the opportunity to photograph your choir in and around the building and often can get permission to record the choir, in the space.

Where and when can we rehearse?

Most Cathedrals have a Choir (or Song) School within the building or nearby. You are, usually, given complete access (they will give you a key) to that space for rehearsals during the day and to store your vestments. Also, they have blocks of time, prior to each service, where you may rehearse in the choir stalls, to get used to the space and acoustic. They are usually one hour before the service, but other times may be arranged, as needed. Your organist will also have time blocked for rehearsal on the instrument.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us!